For propulsion applications that require that the propellants are storable for long periods, have a high density impulse, and are environmentally clean and non-toxic, the best choice is a combination of high-concentration hydrogen peroxide (High Test Peroxide, or HTP) and a liquid hydrocarbon (LHC) fuel. The HTP/LHC combination is suitable for low-cost launch vehicles, space taxi and space maneuvering vehicles, and kick stages. Orbital Sciences Corporation is under contract with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in cooperation with the Air Force Research Lab to design, develop and demonstrate a new low-cost liquid upper stage based on HTP and JP-8. The Upper Stage Flight Experiment (USFE) focuses on key technologies necessary to demonstrate the operation of an inherently simple propulsion system with an innovative, state-of-the-art structure. Two key low-cost vehicle elements will be demonstrated - a 10,000 lbf thrust engine and an integrated composite tank structure. The suborbital flight test of the USFE is scheduled for 2001. Preceding the flight tests are two major series of ground tests at NASA Stennis Space Center and a subscale tank development program to identify compatible composite materials and to verify their compatibility over long periods of time. The ground tests include a thrust chamber development test series and an integrated stage test. This paper summarizes the results from the first phase of the thrust chamber development tests and the results to date from the tank material compatibility tests. Engine and tank configurations that meet the goals of the program are described.